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Act 46 Barre City and Barre Town


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Act 46 Barre City and Barre Town,
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Act 46 Barre City and Barre Town

  1. 1. Doing Whatever It Takes to Ensure Success For Every Child Why Act 46 Makes Sense for Barre City and Barre Town Barre Supervisory Union 120 Ayers Street, Barre VT 05641  802.476.5011 |  Committee Members Barre City Guliano Checchinelli   479-3109 Paul Cook   989-3018 Michael Deering   522-1364 Ed Rousse   272-3088 Jessica Vest   595-2895 Barre Town Gina Akley   522-3926 Marcia Biondolillo   272-8708 Jeff Blow   839-0486 Guy Isabelle   229-8159 Rebecca Kerin-Hutchins   280-5940 Michaela Martin   433-5818 Kim Whitcomb   272-6599
  2. 2. Barre City and Barre Town Act 46 FAQs Frequently Asked Questions What is Act 46? Act 46 is a state law that aims to improve the quality of education. Like it or not, it exists. The Act’s primary mechanism for improving the quality of education is merging school districts to cut costs and better serve students. If Barre City and Barre Town merge voluntarily, the state will give both communities tax incentives for the next four years. The window of opportunity to merge voluntarily is closing, and we feel that taxpayers deserve another chance to vote on a merger and get the tax incentives that come with it. Why is this vote different? We have significantly revised the Articles of Agree- ment that will govern the new district to address the concerns that drove some voters to vote down the merger twice before. In the new Articles: • Schools will not consolidate or close • No student will have to attend school outside of their town • Elementary schools will not be merging • Each school will maintain a separate principal and separate daily operations Will my community have equal representation on the school board? Yes. Barre Town and Barre City will each have four representatives on the school board, and one representative will be voted on by both communities, for a total of nine board members. Will the state add other schools to our district once we’ve voted to merge? No, if we merge voluntarily the state cannot add any other schools to the district. 1 2 3 4 How do I know these things won’t change once a merger is complete? The committee has structured the merger plan and the voting ballot warning so that these things cannot be changed without a public vote. Is a merger financially fair to both communities? While there is some financial disparity between the Barre Town and Barre City school districts, it is relatively small compared to many other districts that have merged, and over the past two years the disparity has decreased. In addition, the projected tax savings due to state incentives and operational efficiencies estimate a savings of almost $2.5 million for each town. What happens if we vote “No”? If we do not merge voluntarily, the Vermont Board of Education will decide whether to merge us involuntarily by November 30, and all of the information we have so far indicates they will do so. If this happens, we will lose the tax incentives offered by the state and we will have to live by the state’s recently published Articles of Agreement, which do not preserve the protections that are important to voters. Has the state made any exceptions to Act 46? Yes, there have been districts that cannot practically be merged with other districts due to geography or other complicating factors. However, due to their proximity and similarities the Barre districts do not meet those exception criteria. 5 6 7 8 Equal representation on school board A YES vote = no merging or closing of schools Act 46 is law Yes = $5 million in tax incentives. No = $0 The state has indicated it will require us to merge.